1. 1
    Flame 4:18
    In cart Not available Out of stock
  2. 2
    In cart Not available Out of stock
  3. 3
    In cart Not available Out of stock
  4. 4
  5. 5
    In cart Not available Out of stock
  6. 6
    In cart Not available Out of stock
  7. 7
    In cart Not available Out of stock
  8. 8
    In cart Not available Out of stock
  9. 9
    In cart Not available Out of stock

🌹 🎶 Love's Vocal Liberation in The Color Purple

Shug Avery: You see, I think it pi**es God off if you walk past the color purple and not notice it.

Celie: You saying God wants to be loved like it say in the Bible?

Shug Avery: Oh, everything and everybody wants to be loved. Especially God. That's why God be in everything. And see, when you love what God has made, you is loving God and God is loving you.

The Color Purple (2023) - Produced by Stephen Spielberg, Quincy Jones & Oprah, adapted from the 2005 Musical.

In the latest beautiful re-imagining of Alice Walker’s seminal novel The Color Purple, the flamboyant free-spirited butterfly Shugs flies into Celie’s life and turns up the volume, the colour and the love of life. Her flightiness finds a warm, loyal home in Celie’s arms, activating a love that will help Celie find the strength to leave an abusive husband. Shug’s love of the blues and her whirlwind lifestyle lead her preacher father to reject her, but that same love of music eventually leads them to reconcile. The abuse Celie faces is unflinchingly portrayed - raped by her stepfather, he takes her two babies from her at birth and sells her to Albert/ Mister who, haunted by the voice of his former lover Shugs, beats and separates her from her sister. “You're black, you're poor, you're ugly, you're a woman! You're nothing!” he shouts as the two women leave him. After Celie’s parting words “until you do right by me, everything you think about is gonna crumble,” Mister/Albert’s world falls apart, he sees the errors of his ways and reunites Celie with her family. The film intimately portrays the struggle of black women within the racism and misogyny of 1900s Georgia. All the characters are drawn tenderly and truthfully, with flaws and frailties, as they grapple with the joys and heartbreaks of human relationships. Despite the horrors of abuse and oppression, it is the voice of love’s liberation that finally wins out.

Celie - Fantasia Barron & Shugs - Taraji P Henson in The Color Purple

“Because we were Methodists, and sang mostly standard hymns, the singing wasn’t all that great. I loved it, though, because I liked singing with others, still do, and I was, even as a small child, humbled by the sincerity in the voices of everyone. After we sang any kind of song together, there was nobody in the congregation I didn’t love.”

‘The Only Reason You Want to Go to Heaven is That You Have Been Driven Out of Your Mind’ by Alice Walker, 1997, reposted on her website “especially for folks who will be seeing the new iteration of The Color Purple, due out in December.

From the swelling waves of hymns to the determined ‘Hell, No!’ of Sophia who refuses to be beaten by her husband, the transformative power of voice runs like a life-giving river through The Color Purple. When Celie’s voice finally cracks open like a much-needed thunderstorm in a desert, it releases the laughter of a Sophia, until then muted by a devastating stint in jail. In her anthem of sexual emancipation, Shugs entreats lovers to Push Da Button to make your lover cry out/ Like a lion roar.” In the 1982 novel, it is her words that teach Celie to question the repressive, punishing white God she has absorbed and instead to find God in everything - the beauty of nature, the joy of lovemaking and the sorrow of troubles - “God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don’t know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord, Feeling like shit.”

In an interview with The Entertainer, Danielle Brooks describes how she called on the voices of her ancestors to help her play Sophia, saying that she had pictures of 20 inspiring women in her trailer including Oprah, Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer and Eliza Woods, a black woman lynched in 1886 after being accused of poisoning Jessie Woolen, whom she worked for as a cook. Three years later, Jessie’s husband confessed to the murder. Danielle says “I called on them, my grandmother, my great-grandmother. And to be honest, the scene in the jail and the scene at the dinner table, it felt like I had to perch myself in a graveyard full of my ancestors, of Black women, and listen to them whisper all of their pain and hurt. And I wanted people to really see us as Black women.”

Interviewed alongside Danielle, co-star Taraji P. Henson shares her awareness that “Art saves lives, art changes lives, I know how important this craft that we've been blessed with — I know how important this is to humanity.” Her prayer is to “make it better” for little girls watching and thinking ‘I want to do that’ - “I don't want to have to hear her talk about the same things that me and my sisters have been fighting for so many years.”

The powerful voices of this film sing and speak for a multitude of women silenced by oppression past, present and future.

In her essay, The Only Reason You Want to Go to Heaven is That You Have Been Driven Out of Your Mind’ Alice Walker shares that “I worship the Earth (and its sun) as God, representing everything (including love) and Nature as its spirit.” She recounts how her mother, who lovingly tended the church was rendered voiceless by a religion that damned women as sinful and reserved the right to speak in church for men.

“The truth was, we already lived in paradise but were worked too hard by the land-grabbers to enjoy it. This is what my mother, and perhaps the other women knew, and this was one reason why they were not permitted to speak. They might have demanded that the men of the church notice Earth. Which always leads to revolution.”

Revolution originally referred to the revolving of the planets. The Color Purple opens and circles back to Celie and her sister Nettie singing amidst huge trees swathed in beams of light, voices rising on the wings of Earth’s everloving, ever-revolving song.

The Color Purple 2023 - Danielle Brooks as Sofia, Fantasia as adult Celie, Ciara as Nettie and Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery with Colman Domingo as Mister and Corey Hawkins as Harpo Johnson. Directed by Blitz Bazawule.


Thanks for reading! Sign up to ramble freely from the comfort of your inbox.